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National Council of Social Dialogue will ensure regularity and continuation of negotiations (Chahed)

Published the:  27/11/2018

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(TAP) - "The National Council of Social Dialogue will ensure the regularity and continuation of negotiations between the government and its social partners," Prime Minister Youssef Chahed said on Tuesday.

Speaking at the opening of the Constitutive General Assembly of the National Council of Social Dialogue, Chahed said this new structure will be the appropriate framework for the exercise of social democracy.

On the priorities of the national council for social dialogue, the Prime Minister cited the global review of the social security system, the evaluation of the health insurance scheme and the inclusion of the informal sector to fight against smuggling.

He recalled that a programme for the promotion of decent work in Tunisia between 2017 and 2022 was signed between the three production sides last July.

Chahed also pointed out that the government will continue to play its role of regulator in the distribution of wealth to ensure decent work for all, social equality and economic progress.

Moreover, Chahed said the government attaches great importance to occupational health and safety, which are fundamental human rights, noting that a national census has been conducted this year to renew the occupational hazards map, which is first of its kind in the Arab world and in Africa.

For his part, President of the Tunisian Union of Agriculture and Fisheries (UTAP) Abdelmajid Ezzar said he was dissatisfied with the limited number allocated to his organization in the composition of the national council of social dialogue, namely 5 positions on a total of 105 members.

In his speech, Ezzar said the agriculture and fisheries sector plays an important role in boosting development and has about 560 thousand farmers and 60 thousand fishermen who do not benefit from the fruits of economic development.

"These workers are the most vulnerable to marginalisation and poverty," he said, recalling that UTAP has repeatedly called for the reform of the social security system in the agriculture and fisheries sector and strengthening the legal framework.

Samir Majoul, President of the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts (UTICA) said the National Council of Social Dialogue is one of the main institutions of the democratic state and the symbol of participatory approach in development management.

He further indicated that union representativeness is based on the geographical and economic influence of the organisation, stressing that UTICA brings together the largest number of elected officials who represent the various economic sectors.

Therefore it is the organisation which must represent private sector employers in the national council of social dialogue, he pointed out.

Majoul stressed that this new structure will serve to promote development and boost investment and productivity while ensuring the foundations of decent employment and social equality.